Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another Legal Victory in Support of Educational Choice

Families on Oklahoma are breathing a huge sigh of relief and celebrating a legal victory that upholds Oklahoma’s voucher program designed for children with special needs. In a landslide victory—the high court ruled 7-2—the court said that two school districts could not sue parents participating in the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program. 

The program—passed with bipartisan support in 2010 and signed into law by former Democratic Governor Brad Henry—now serves more than 150 students with special needs.  One of the students whose lives have changed thanks to this program is Ian Buckley:

Ian Buckley attended public school through the third grade with an Individualized Education Program.

With a learning disability and a sensory integration disability, Ian struggled socially in school. Many afternoons, when he was picked up from school, he was upset. Ian did not fit into any peer group at his school.

In July 2010, Ian’s family applied for the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program. With the scholarship, Ian switched to Town and Country School, a private school for children with special needs.

“Socially, he’s a lot more sure of himself now,” said Gerald, Ian’s father. “It’s a great learning environment, and [Ian is] a lot more receptive and is not afraid to ask questions.”

Ian, now in the fifth grade, is thriving at his new school.

“The scholarship made something really terrific feasible,” Gerald said. “The scholarship introduced Ian to the school that he’ll go to for the rest of his school life.”

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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